May 19, 2020

The Race to Reopen the Region

OGDENSBURG  - As regions across New York state struggle to meet requirements for reopening, United Helpers and other area long-term care providers raced to secure testing supplies in line with the regulations to comply with the latest Executive Order.

Since mid-March, United Helpers and other providers have continued to respond to rapid-fire directives and newly imposed state mandates, all while developing strategies for coping with a potential outbreak.  

“The amount of preparation and planning that has gone on behind the scenes for United Helpers have been staggering,” said Stephen Knight, United Helpers CEO. “Although necessary, many of the changes have not been easy for residents or staff members.” Knight cited the discontinuation of visitation and the struggles of securing a more reliable and sustainable supply chain for PPE as just two examples. 

Instead of increased funding and targeted staff support, an approach that neighboring states have adopted, in NY, long-term care has been noticeably missing from the list of operations receiving financial reimbursement or provisions.

“We are seeing across the state and country the lack of funding and support for our most vulnerable,” Knight added.  “Although we agree with most of the measures being taken for safety, there is currently no financial relief.  The most recent mandate, as an example, will potentially cost upwards of $60K per week for employee testing.” 

There are many examples of this occurring across the state. Without increased resources, many of the already fragile operations across the state will be in jeopardy of closing.

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